Group Files Complaint to Remove Zoo Elephant
2012-07-20

By The Capital-Journal
July 18, 2012

An animal-rights group filed a complaint Wednesday with the U.S. Department of Agriculture asking the agency to remove one of the Topeka Zoo's elephants.

In a news release, In Defense of Animals lodged the complaint citing that 50-year-old Asian elephant Sunda has serious chronic foot problems. The IDA contends such issues are known to be a leading cause of death for elephants in zoos.

"The condition of Sunda's feet is extremely serious," said Catherine Doyle, IDA elephant campaign director. "Chronic infection can make its way into the bone and kill her."

Doyle said she visited the zoo this month and observed Sunda's condition. According to IDA, the zoo's medical records indicate Sunda has a history of serious foot disease.

"It is imperative that Sunda be removed from the conditions that are causing the problem, which are lack of space and standing indoors on hard flooring all winter," Doyle said.

The zoo has a second elephant named Tembo.

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